On my recent trip to England I completed a very big tick on my chilli list when I visited South Devon Chilli Farm. Since starting growing chillies and especially since starting up this blog I have been searching online for like minded growers and these guys one of the groups I’ve been following for a long time – so I decided that I’d go visit sometime because I knew that it would be a massive inspiration to my hobbie/obsession. They have been established for years and have a brand which is recognised commercially and are making money from their passion for the hot stuff – something certainly to aspire to and when we have our own land and space for a good few polytunnels maybe there will be an Irish Farm that people can visit like this one!
We got lost in the Devon country roads on the way and had to backtrack a bit and at one point I thought we weren’t going to find it, but patience prevailed! Right away I was impressed with the setup, they have a great wee cafe & shop full of their products but the chilli chocolate caught my eye. I had experimented myself a few months back with a chilli chocolate cake recipe. They have different heats just as in sauces so I encouraged my wife to try the bar that is for kids; she nearly choked saying it was soo hot – it wasn’t of course.
We met one of the partners Tara who kindly gave us the grand tour even though she was on her way out the door. Such a lovely humble person. The farm is nestled in a beautiful country settling, it really is perfect if you are like me and of a very rural mindset. They have a good few tunnels and one show tunnel for the public which has a vast array of pod varieties. It was very cool to chat with someone doing so well growing chillies and you could just see that she is very passionate about it all and really enjoying it. I told her about the Ninja blog. Nice to make connections with new Chilli people.
I was very impressed by the amount of different varieties, some classic, some quite rare, and all looking the part. My favourites were the two chilli that looked identical but one was not spicy at all and the other was potent. I also loved the show of colour that was prominent throughout the tunnel, not just reds and greens but blacks, purples, oranges, and whites. Absolutely lovely.
So, I’ve had an unstable growing season but really I feel that this is my most important so far. Having such a bad season has only increased my knowledge and willingness to become an ever better chilli grower and it’s great to visit other dynamic growers such as South Devon Chilli Farm. Watch this space for 2013.